The Crankster 

Comedian Roy Wood Jr. talks about football, late-night television and why he loves Richmond.

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Roy Wood Jr. is on the move. After TBS announced it was canceling his sitcom, “Sullivan and Son,” last fall, the Birmingham native decided to go back on tour. A frequent contributor on ESPN’s “SportsNation,” the comedian also has two reality shows and a new sitcom in the works.

And this weekend he brings his unique brand of cranky humor to the Funny Bone. We caught up with him early last week after the Denver Broncos lost to the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys fell to the Green Bay Packers, solidifying the lineup for Sunday’s championship games.

Style: So how do you feel about last night’s games?

Wood: I feel sorry for Payton Manning, but as a Dolphins fan, considering Dan Marino never got his one, there’s only so much sympathy I can have. Plus he eats free Papa John’s, which we all know is the true championship prize.

Do you think Dez Bryant’s catch against the Packers should have stood?

I thought it was a catch. Let me put it this way: It’s another rule that the league will look at four years from now and make a change. The NFL is so behind the times I wouldn’t be surprised if they just started using color printers in their offices.

Who do you think will win the Super Bowl?

[As of Jan. 12] — I’d like the Packers to run the table, honestly. Given the two AFC teams that are left, I think either NFC squad can beat them. [Tom] Brady’s cool and Andrew Luck is still the new cute girl to the party, but I don’t think either of those guys can stop Aaron Rogers with the way Rogers is playing right now. If they can win in Seattle, they can do anything they want in life.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson is from Richmond. Our readers might disagree with your choice of the Packers.

That’s fine. When he loses, make sure to give him a hug and a Flying Squirrels T-shirt. Comfort the man, comfort the man. He already has a trophy. I’m not anti-Russell Wilson. You have to remember, I’m a Dolphins fan. I haven’t been happy since 1993.

You mentioned the Flying Squirrels. Are you a fan?

I’m a huge minor-league baseball fan. Baseball is my first love. I’m a Cubs fan, but I grew up going to Birmingham Barons games, so I love the AA, just the atmosphere. When I used to play the Funny Bone in Richmond years ago — we’re talking ’01, ’02 — I would try to catch Richmond Braves games. … I love $8 baseball, and I love $2 hotdogs.

What do you make of Richmond?

I love Richmond. I love that part of Virginia as a whole because it’s still Southern enough to have a Waffle House, but still East Coast enough to have snow. It’s this nice little blend, you get a nice taste of both cultures.

You’ve appeared on a number of late-night shows — “Late Night with David Letterman,” “Conan,” “Ferguson.” Which show was the most fun to appear on and who was nicest to you?

I’d have to go with “Conan” and Conan for both answers. … I’d have to say that Conan has probably been the most kind and [he’s had me back multiple times], because ultimately that’s about the host. … Letterman’s an institution. Adding the words “David Letterman” to your résumé for comedians is like putting Ph.D. at the end of your name.

It’s still early in the year. What are your predictions for 2015?

The Miami Dolphins to the playoffs and the Chicago Cubs to win it all. It’s proof that I’m delusional. S

Roy Wood Jr. will appear Jan. 22-25 at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 11800 W. Broad St. #1090. Call 521-8900 or visit richmondfunnybone.com.

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